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Sheffield Wednesday defend stewarding after reports of Hillsborough Stadium overcrowding at Newcastle FA Cup tie

Sheffield Wednesday defend stewarding after reports of Hillsborough Stadium overcrowding at Newcastle FA Cup tie thumbnail

Sheffield Wednesday have delivered a defiant statement defending their stewarding after reports of overcrowding against Newcastle.

The League One club have come under fire after sections of Newcastle fans complained about a lack of stewarding in their FA Cup tie on Saturday at Hillsborough.

Sheffield Wednesday have insisted that the stewarding was up to standard

The Football Association are looking into the complaints but Sheffield Wednesday have hit back, though have insisted they will assist with its enquiries.

Wednesday said: “Whilst it is inappropriate to outline in full the details of the submission at this time, the club feels it is important to emphasise that the stewarding numbers in place within the visitors’ section of the stadium exceeded the requirements of the safety certificate.

“The allocation of tickets issued to Newcastle supporters also complied absolutely with the safety certificate.

“In addition, fewer supporters entered the visitors’ turnstiles when aligned to the number of tickets allocated and sold.

“The turnstiles were opened 30 minutes earlier than a regular matchday, two hours before kick-off at 4:00pm, to allow Newcastle supporters to enter the stadium in a timely a manner as possible.

“There were no reports of injuries or medical assistance required on the West Stand logged with the club’s first aid operations manager before, during and after the game.”

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Sheffield Wednesday knocked Newcastle out of the FA Cup

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Sheffield Wednesday knocked Newcastle out of the FA Cup

Feelings are heightened over overcrowding at Hillsborough after disaster struck in 1989 when 97 Liverpool fans lost their lives during an FA Cup tie between the Reds and Nottingham Forest.

The Sports Grounds Safety Authority (SGSA) said on Tuesday it was ‘concerned’ by the reports and are conducting its own review.

And the FA asked for information from both clubs while the Newcastle United Supporters Trust have asked fans to contact them over information.

Nearly 4,500 Newcastle fans made the trip to Sheffield for the FA Cup clash on Saturday, making their way into the Leppings Lane End.

The Magpies were defeated 2-1 by Wednesday as the Owls claimed a huge Premier League scalp to set up a home tie against Fleetwood in the next round.

It was just the second loss for Newcastle this season, who are currently third in the Premier League under Eddie Howe.

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